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NY won't match Lin-Houston deal: ESPN

TAIPEI--The New York Knicks will not match the Houston Rockets' three-year US$25-million offer sheet for Taiwanese American NBA player Jeremy Lin, ESPN reported Monday, citing sources with the Knicks.

The Knicks have until Tuesday night U.S. time to match the offer and have not commented on the issue, but there has been widespread speculation that Lin's days in New York were done after the Knicks picked up point guard Raymond Felton in a sign-and-trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers over the weekend.

The Knicks already had veteran point guards Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni on their roster, and with the addition of Felton, there is likely no room for Lin.

Based on the Rockets' offer, Lin is expected to receive US$14.8 million during the 2014-15 season, which would be higher than all but two players on the team, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.

According to the ESPN report, other Knicks players appeared to be envious of the fat contract, which Anthony called “ridiculous” during a practice session with Team USA in Washington.

“I'd love to see him back, but I think he has to do what's best for him right now,” Anthony was quoted as saying on ESPN.

In another report on Sports Illustrated Monday, Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith said it was a no-brainer that Lin's contract “could cause a challenging dynamic with his teammates.”

“I think some guys take it personal, because they've been doing it longer and haven't received any reward for it yet. I think it's a tough subject to touch on for a lot of guys,” said Smith, who signed a two-year deal with the Knicks that pays him US$2.8 million in the first year.

According to the New York Times, Lin told associates that he had no idea whether the Knicks will keep him or not because he has not heard from team officials, but he believed that the trade for Felton was a sign he will be heading to Houston.

Knicks fans have already expressed concerns about Lin's possible departure from New York, the New York Times reported.

The report cited Knicks fan and blogger Jim Cavan, who tweeted on Sunday: “I'm going for a walk. Perhaps off a cliff. I don't know, we'll see.”

An online petition that called for the Knicks to keep Lin had attracted more than 2,000 signatures as of midnight Sunday, New York time.

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